How NOT to do PR — The Importance of Media Training

Jul 18, 2016

Theresa May has arrived into No. 10 in a defining point of the UK’s history, by becoming the next Prime Minister after David Cameron. The current political climate is shaping up to what it ought to have been right after the vote for Britain to leave the European Union was announced last month. It was a large kafuffle that lead many to think that British politics was a complete theatrical performance – well-acted and deeply undignified.

Unfortunately for some, mainly Michael Gove and Andrea Leadsom, the efforts that were made were far from what they had hoped for.

With Gove’s revelatory and treacherous admittance that he found Boris Johnson unfit to be the next Prime Minster, and his campaign thereafter, it is no wonder that his PR was considered quite pitiful. He left the race (and predictably, Theresa May’s Cabinet).

Andrea Leadsom also tripped over herself with a very un-media-like disposition when she publically Tweeted that she had a ‘stake’ in the campaign to being Prime Minister because she is a mother, unlike her competitor Theresa May.

Of course, this was all misconstrued and Leadsom did later apologise for the tweet, having said that it was ‘taken out of context’. This didn’t stop many from thinking that it was more than an oversight of word choice, and quite unlike any senior body to not realise that everything you say will be and is held against you – whether you meant it or not.

Leadsom then decided to step-down from the race, allowing more media-savvy and confident Theresa May to take the pedestal in becoming the Prime Minster of the UK. Andrea was appointed as Environment Secretary by May onto the Cabinet.

Despite his leave, a winner of this game seems to be David Cameron. Cameron’s leaving speech was a jocular, heart-warming display of positivity for the future of the UK and it was unsurprising that he was given a standing ovation by the end of it. Theresa May has also shown a strong position and empowering will with her strategic and decisive effort in rearrange the Cabinet.

—Evelyn Watts, 2016

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